You are defined not by the work that you do, but by how you do the work that you do. The exact work that you do, of course, is important. But not as important as the focus, integrity and soulfulness, that you bring to your work.
Not long ago, I watched boats bringing men to and from work while I was sitting on a hilltop. Scattered along this stretch of the Pacific coast, several miles out to sea, you can see oil rigs lit up at night like beacons.
With lunch pails and bags full of gear slung over shoulders, men walk down the pier toward the boats that will take them out to sea. There, they will spend their day working on the rigs tethered to the ocean floor.
You go to work for many important reasons. You work to provide income to feed, shelter and clothe yourself and your family. You go to work for the routine and structure that it brings. You go to work because of the pull of and duty to your colleagues, who sometimes become the most trusted people in your life. And if you are lucky, you go to work to fulfill a destiny and to be a part of something much greater.
It has been said that much of the success in life is achieved from showing up each day. It doesn’t matter if you punch a time clock and light-up a welding torch, or if you are a CEO with an office over-looking Central Park.
But how you approach your work and how you engage with all the demands of your day shape you into the man or woman that you are to become. Your relationship with the work that you do will play a large role in building your character. Love your work or hate it, it does not matter, because your work will mold you into becoming the woman or man that you present to the world, and perhaps more importantly, the man or woman that you present to your own soul.